June 24th, 2009 | Published in What's going on in Germany?!
The global economic crisis is hitting Germany, the so-called ”world export champion“, hard. German exports experienced a downturn of 21.9 % in the first quarter of 2009, compared to the first quarter of 2008. In fourth quarter 2008 the slowdown was only 6 %.
The Federal Statistic Office’s representatives told media that they could not recall a comparable quarterly downturn during the past few decades. Exports were down 20.7 % in January and 23.1 % in February with the decline slowing in March to 15.8 %. Any hopes created by this somewhat lower March decline were dashed in April when exports fill a whopping 28.7 %.
The largest downturns in the first quarter of 2009 were measured for exports to Turkey (38.7 %) and Russia (31.4 %), while exports to China remained relatively stable. Exports to the United States declined by 26.4 %, which is slightly above average. Imports from the US, on the other hand, increased by 4.7 %. Given these current figures, experts are uncertain about expectations for 2010.